SUPPORT FOR A BLENDED LEARNING MODEL IN PUBLIC PRIMARY & SECONDARY SCHOOLS ACROSS LAGOS.

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SUPPORT FOR A BLENDED LEARNING MODEL IN PUBLIC PRIMARY & SECONDARY SCHOOLS ACROSS LAGOS STATE.

It’s clear that online or blended education will be central to education and learning as long as COVID-19 or many health or climate change induced reasons causes disruptions.

Children in pubic primary and secondary schools in Nigeria are being left behind as they are not equipped to adapt or transition to new methods of learning. The pandemic has unmasked substantial inequities in the primary and secondary education sector.

The challenges faced during the closure of schools occasioned by the COVID-19 pandemic have shown that relying only on traditional method of education could constitute a setback to learning considering that education cannot remain the same again without a readily available cure and vaccine for the coronavirus.

The COVID-19 pandemic led especially public education institutions into uncertain territory. Many private educational institutions leadership and faculty helped students navigate unprecedented times by quickly establishing or adopting the virtual classrooms which many of them established shortly after the Ebola crisis with the public educational institutions left behind.

With the timing of a coronavirus vaccine uncertain and the inability to accurately predict that no global pandemic of this kind wont surface again, a significant amount of learning will take place outside the classroom for the near future globally and Nigeria public primary and secondary education institutions should start preparing for this uncertain times. This pivot to blended learning may accelerate the evolution of almost all levels of education for the benefit of students.

The global pandemic revealed in clear terms the need and benefits of blended learning and ways some of these advantages could be used to even reduce the many challenges facing the Nigeria public educational system.

SOME BENEFITS OF BLENDED LEARNING IN PUBLIC PRIMARY & SECONDARY SCHOOLS ACROSS LAGOS STATE.

·         Reduced cost on expansion and maintenance of infrastructures, learning

·         Improved safety of lives and properties in schools,

·         Reduction in national illiteracy level are some of the identified prospects.

·         Reduce Educational Inequality During Crisis

·         Self-pacing for slow or quick learners reduces stress, increases satisfaction, and information retention.

·         Students can also learn through a variety of activities that apply to many different learning styles.

Corruption by government officials are among the identified challenges of adopting blended learning into the Nigerian educational sector.

One major issue that may stem from this education inequality is that these children in public primary and secondary education institutions who currently cannot keep up with their peers because of inaccessibility to online learning may never catch up and will continue to feel the effect of this gap long after the pandemic is over.

Sensing the need for blended learning system (i.e. 2 weeks, a term) across public primary and secondary schools in Lagos state, World Literacy Foundation 2020 Ambassadors Lagos Team recommends a combination of one or more of the following approaches that combines online learning and face-to-face instructions:

1.          Setting up of pilot primary and secondary schools in all the education districts across Lagos state,

2.        UNESCO reports that 75% of households globally have access to radio and in sub-Saharan Africa between 80% and 90% of households have access to a working radio set. Interactive Radio Instruction. (IRI) is an instructional approach that uses one-way radio to reach students and teachers via prerecorded, interactive lessons. Lagos state government uses broadcast radio for many reasons and this can be useful for educational purposes too, the archipelago of Cabo Verde, for example uses radio dramas, lessons, tutoring, and other educational broadcasts to reach students on its 10 islands

The state government can also consider a Public Private Partnership approach in setting up a community radio station strictly for educational purposes.

3.        As of 2018, 1.67 billion households globally had access to television (including 75 million households in sub-Saharan Africa). A quick scan suggests that most states in Nigeria have at least one state owned television and radio station and several have both state and privately run stations and with it comes have strong technical and human infrastructure that can be used to produce compelling television programming both for traditional TV.

4.        Given high rates of mobile phone ownership everywhere, including in sub-Saharan Africa where the purchase of low-cost smart phones has continued to rise over the last several years, phones should be considered another important educational tool to provide learning.  

This petition is on behalf of and a collective voice of 45+ World Literacy Foundation 2020 Ambassadors Lagos Team passionate about the substantial and deep learning inequalities in the primary and secondary education schools in Lagos state.

This petition seeks 10,000 signatures.

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